Great (and easy) Water-Saving Ideas

Whether or not we are headed for an El Nino winter, this is still Southern California where even in wet years we can have six months of little to no rainfall. What should we gardeners do?

  • Introduce Native Plants. They add an “authenticity” to our California gardens.
  • Plant in the fall and early winter.
  • Consider eliminating some or all of your lawn (lawns are thirsty and labor intensive. Think More Fun – Less Work).
  • Mulch in late spring and early fall. Use organic, weed-free mulch and avoid fresh sawdust and hot manure products. This will reduce weed germination while retaining moisture and reducing the need for watering.
  • Water less frequently but for longer duration to allow for deep penetration.
  • Once native plants are established, they require less water and may be happy with rainfall alone during the winter and spring.
  • Switch from overhead sprinklers to soaker hoses.
  • When watering container gardens and small areas, use a water wand with a trigger. This will avoid watering the pavement. Water thoroughly to penetrate root systems.
  • Turn automatic sprinklers off during rainy periods. Adjust time and frequency of automatic sprinklers seasonally.
  • Use a broom instead of a hose to clean sidewalks and driveways.
  • Water your container garden with the left-over dish water when you wash your dishes in a tub in your kitchen sink. Earth-friendly no-phosphate soaps are sold at Trader Joe’s and other markets.
Gardening TipsMarianne Taylor